Greetings from the Straits!

Now more than ever, your support, kindness, and patience as our valued guests is sincerely appreciated.

It’s obvious at this time, that we will not be embarking on our 75th season come April 21. That being said, please know that we are working continuously alongside local, state, and federal authorities to assure a safe and healthy plan for the 2020 travel season on Mackinac Island.

As an essential transportation company, our amazing freight crew has continued operations during this recent time of uncertainty. We’re grateful for their dedication in delivering much needed goods and services to the community of Mackinac Island. The decision of when and more specifically, how to resume passenger service is something to which we’re giving considerable thought. Our guests, our crew, and the community of Mackinac Island are all critical partners and please know that we value each of you equally and uniquely.

While we’re unable to offer any additional information on opening dates at this time, we wanted to assure you that once we are approved to put plans in place, you’ll be the very first to know.

Our motor vessels are impeccably clean and ready for launch. What minimal ice existed on Lakes Huron and Michigan has long melted. Our seasoned crew is well rested and eager to assist guests. In summary, it’s go-time for us when go-time is safe for you and we’ll be ready and eager to welcome you as guests of our 75th season.

On behalf of our entire crew, we thank you for being our longtime friends. Now more than ever, we look forward to seeing you. And until then, we wish you peace, happiness, and of course good health. Be well, friends and know that someday soon, we’ll be together.

Best Wishes,
William R. Shepler
Chris Shepler
Patricia Shepler Fuhrman
Billy Shepler


Gretchen Ringvelski

Looking forward to our first ride of the year! Hope you add a bunch of lighthouse (and other) cruises – I’m sure they’ll be very popular. See you soon!


Thank you . We love the island but we are just guest . I pray and hope the virus doesn’t get to the Island . We can wait a wile to take a trip over if it means keeping the Island population safe .

Marge Ellenberger

Dear Shepler Family,
Thank you for your POST and WELL WISHES! I also look forward to your 2020 opening! Thank You for save guarding and if there is anything I can do to help Shepler’s upon opening, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Steve Zieman

The content of your message is appreciated and clearly understood. Aside from that, what I want to tell whoever wrote it is that yours is one of the best written messages I’ve read in days. What a pleasure it was to read a nicely composed piece like this. Perhaps this comment of mine is a silly, but it’s sincere. Good luck with whatever the season ahead holds for you.

Bob Rossman

Good luck Chris, we look forward to seeing those boats running!

Kathleen Johnson

Thanks Bob! We’ll pass your message to Chris! Stay well and we’ll see you real soon.

Richard Hojna

Looking forward to another wonderful season riding with you.

Kathleen Johnson

Thanks Richard! We’re looking forward to it as well!

B. Bartos

We hope to travel with you mid-June & mid-August. We have reservations. Handicapped-accessible needs, as always. Please keep us “in the loop” as more info becomes available! Best wishes! Be safe!

Kathleen Johnson

You will 100% be “in the loop”. Thanks for being our guest and we look forward to seeing you!

Kathleen Johnson

We’re looking forward to it as well, Christine!

Kathleen Johnson

Roger that, Ronald. Stay well and we’ll see you soon.

Kathleen Johnson

Why thanks Steve. We’ll share your message with everyone. Stay well, and we look forward to seeing you soon. No comment is silly!

Kathleen Johnson

Greetings Marge! Thank you so much. We look forward to seeing you and we greatly appreciate your offer to help. Prayers and good thoughts for all is what’s needed most right now. Be well and we’ll see you soon!

Kathleen Johnson

Thanks Ryan. We definitely look forward to seeing you!

Kathleen Johnson

Hello Gretchen! Thank you for the comment and we look forward to seeing you as well for your first ride!

Kathy Angline

Thank you so much for keeping us posted. We come up several times a year and this year will be no different!! God bless you all❤

Kevin Fitzgibbon

I miss that lovely place
I know it’s been roughed up a bit
I miss your Grand Hotel
The island people the island smell
Miss Margy take me to that perfect place
And put a smile on my face.


Can’t wait to use Shepler’s for my annual trips to the island! Something nice to look forward to!

Cynthia Scanlon

Your business has always been a staple of the magic of the UP! Stay healthy – and we look forward to your opening…

Jim Carlson

We miss you, and when the sun warms the straits again, I’m sure all of us will want to take that wonderful ride back in time! After almost 35 years, we will always remember the fun of boating across to Mackinac island with Shepherd!
Thank you so much for all the memories!

Nancy Ralston

We love Sheplers right from the first time I came to the island over thirty years ago. Clean, safe, friendly and professional. I’ve rode the other two once each and was amazed at the difference. Sheplers is by far the best!


Praying we can all get back to enjoying so many memories and times together as families and friends . Thank you Sheplers family for showing your concern and care .

Kathleen Johnson

Thank you for being our guest. We look forward to seeing you more than ever.

Kathleen Johnson

Thank you Denise! We’re looking forward to it as well.

Kathleen Johnson

Happy to hear that, Kathy. See you soon and be well.

Kathleen Johnson

WE LOVE IT! Taking this straight to FB to post later today. Thanks Kevin!

Cindy Kramer

So looking forward to a ride in the summer! Love Shepler’s. I pray you all are well!

Kathleen Johnson

Thanks Cindy. You be safe as well and we’ll see you just as soon as possible.

Stephanie Kohrman

Thank you for the update! I am hoping all will be operational for the Lilac Festival! I have always wanted to visit during that time 🤞🙏

Kathleen Johnson

Hello Stephanie. We’re hoping for that as well. Thanks for the note and please be well. We’ll see you soon.


I have been riding Shepler’s since I was 2 years old. I am now a father of 4 and we can’t wait to ride the top this July. This will pass and things will be back to normal soon.

Everyone stay healthy and positive!

Kathleen Johnson

Top deck forever! Thanks Neil. We value your business through the years. Stay healthy and we’ll see you soon.

Janie Evans

I love Sheplers! The two things that I noticed years ago the first time I rode was the courtesy of the staff & how pristine clean everything was. Always enjoy my ride on Sheplers! Thanks for the update. Stay safe.

Kathleen Johnson

Why thanks Janie. We love the compliments. Be well and we’ll see you just as soon as possible.

Paul Roberts

I just wanted to let you guys know that in the 40 plus years I’ve been coming up (or down) to the straits I’ve only not taken Sheplers three times. My grandparents took Shelpers, my parents have always taken you guys. Now I just wish I could get up there to see those new docks you’ve got. Thanks for all your hard work! I don’t think of Mackinaw without thinking of Sheplers.

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